My Frugal Life: Traveling Down The Frugal Path

It is a hard thing to do, to be yourself. If you can let others be who they are, then can't you be who you are? I admit, once something gets in my head, it stays there until I have exhausted it all. My new kick (which isn't new, but I have been lax lately) is couponing. I have been watching Extreme Couponing along with the rest of America. I admire some of the people who use these coupons to the fullest.

Unfortunately, I live in an area where we do not have store cards, double coupons or anything remotely in that vein. We have only 4 major grocery stores. I would love to buy laundry detergent and stockpile. Even our weekly Sunday carries only the smallest amounts of coupons. It looks the odds are all stacked against me. I think you can still extreme coupon, but on a much smaller scale. Here is how I would do it.

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  1. I have emailed all the companies of the products that I use. They not only send me the coupon of the product that I am using but they will also send me coupons for other products in the lineup. I recently received a coupon for my husband who likes uses the Mach 3 razor. They sent him a coupon for free replacements, up to any size.

  2. I recently started this coupon club. We met once a week and trade coupons. I found this works better for me than a coupon train. Plus we all get together to discuss other areas in our lives, like reciepes, where the sales are, etc.

  3. I found this wonderful magazine called "All You." You can only get the magazine at Walmart. They just lowered the price down from $2.49 to $1.88. You can also subscribe to the magazine for $1.66. I sure you might be able to get even lower than $1.66, if they are running a special. On the cover, it will tell you how much and how many coupons they have in each issue. Plus, it is full of wonderful ideas, thoughts, and how to get freebies. I signed up for their website.

  4. I have two libraries near me and both offer old magazines for sale. Some of them are only a month old. The majority of them, still have coupons. Since most coupons last for about two months, you are sure to get a good bargain.

  5. To piggy back on the magazine idea, when I visit the doctor's office, I will pick up magazines that are current or a couple of months old. Sometimes they will ask patients to take magazines home (they have so many). I have found a lot of coupons that way. I will even cut out the expired ones and mail them to the military families. They can use expired coupons as long as they are not over 6 months old.

  6. I sign up for regular emails from all the stores that I shop at to send me their weekly ads. CVS and Walgreens have started sending me sneak peaks on Saturday, so I can get a head start.

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  8. I signed up for one of those clipping services. My processing fee was only 44 cents. In total, I received 25 coupons for under $4.00, for products that I use. The Sunday paper cost me $2.00 every Sunday and I only get maybe 5 coupons that I can use.

  9. I always match the coupons with the ads, to maximize the savings. I also have rewards cards with several companies and use them when buying.

  10. I have signed up for at least 4 freebie sites to alert me when freebies are available. Plus I use coupon codes when ever possible.

  11. I tally up the saving and drop the money into my savings account. I keep a booklet of recipets and what I have saved and transfer that money into my account. This money will add up.

This is how I get by. Watching the ads, keeping up with selling cycles, looking for coupons everywhere. You may not see on Extreme Coupons, but I am extreme when it comes to savings for my family.

By Georgetta from Waterloo, IA

July 7, 20110 found this helpful

I have never watched the Extreme Couponing show. From the ads that I see on TV for the show, I think the people are a little "off." There is such a thing as stocking up, but then there is hoarding. You need a heck of a lot of storage space to do something like those people do. Also I find the store brands to be cheaper than the brand names even when using a coupon. There are a few things that I insist on having the brand name, but most of the time I use generic. In my area the coupons expire before the item goes on sale. I also don't think it pays to run from store to store just because one item is cheaper there than someplace else.

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ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
July 11, 20110 found this helpful

I love that show also, the only thing I see with most of the people on it is the amount of time it takes for them to get all the coupons together and purchase all the goods, I ask myself is it worth the hassle.

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July 11, 20110 found this helpful

I agree with redhatterb that those Extreme Couponing (or whatever the show's name is) people seem off. I have watched a couple of episodes and feel that those people have taken the joy out of couponing. It is hoarding unless you turn around and donate your products. I actually worry about the show participants if their homes suffered a major difficulty such as flooding etc. and how much that would put them over the top (shudder). OCD, if they have it, is something that might need to be treated by a professional.

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July 11, 20110 found this helpful

But thanks for the many great tips Georgetta!

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July 28, 20110 found this helpful

I also coupon and think it's a great way to save money. As far as the Extreme Couponing show, when those people take the time to stack 300 toothpastes neatly on their shelf I seriously doubt they have any intention of giving any to charity. They only claim they give to charity because they are ashamed of what they do. Stocking up on things for your family is smart. Getting 500 free mustards just because you can, not smart.

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